A former Tuscaloosa Police officer is generating buzz after announcing a campaign to realize his dream of publishing his first-ever comic book series.

Timothy Yzaguirre, a police officer who served four years at TPD and an additional five in Vance, recently left the force to work towards launching an online comic store and is now at the point where he wants to start creating and publishing his own comics.

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His first venture into the medium is a four-issue miniseries that starts out in the 1950's, and tells a story that spans decades, featuring a mysterious puppetmaster overseeing a young couple as they face the consequences of their actions.

"In life, you're faced with choices that seem impossible," Yzaguirre said. "'Strings' is a psychological horror story that dives into someone learning what you have when it's all taken away."

Yzaguirre said a lot of his personal life experiences influenced the story of "Strings." He graduated high school in 2000 and immediately enlisted in the Army to serve in Iraq for the next five years.

In 2010, Yzaguirre joined the Tuscaloosa Police Department, but it wasn't until he moved to Vance PD in 2014 that he started exploring his passion for comics with the launch of an online store called Izzy's Comics.

Before starting his business, he was a fan of the non-superhero comics, specifically shorter 4- to 10-issue miniseries by smaller publishing companies that tell a complete story in a matter of months. He didn't always have a lot of time for reading, but he loved getting to read something new any chance he got.

"I started to notice a lot of Facebook groups dedicated to buying, selling and trading comics. I started trading because it was easiest with how expensive some comics can be and I became really involved," Yzaguirre said. "Somebody once told me I was the only person they knew who could take a $1 comic and turn it into a 'Walking Dead' #1."

With a little encouragement from his wife Mellissa, he started Izzy's as a side business, but took the risk last May to turn it into his full-time job and has seen tremendous success. He said that without her, he would likely still be working in law enforcement, but the online platform has expanded his business in ways he couldn't with a physical store, although he wants one day to open some sort of brick-and-mortar location. For now, though, Yzaguirre said he is putting his full attention towards "Strings."

He said he takes pride in how he's involved his family in the creation process of this comic. His 18-year-old son Bryce is already heavily involved in the comic world, having recently drawn his published first comic book cover for publisher Counterpoint Comics. Yzaguirre enlisted him to help draw a variant cover for the first issue of "Strings."

The fundraising Kickstarter for Yzaguirre's project can be found here.

As of Monday morning, the campaign had reached almost three times its original goal, and Yzaguirre said he intends to keep adding stretch goals and rewards for contributors - including prints and stickers created by his children.

Yzaguirre told The Thread that he's so incredibly grateful for the community support, and with two weeks left in this campaign, he hopes more and more community members feel touched enough by the comic's story to contribute.

"It's a universal story and I put a lot of myself into parts of it, for sure," Yzaguirre said. "I'm incredibly thankful for all the opportunities I've had up to this point, and I'm so glad I get to finally realize this dream of mine."

The first issue is ready to print, and the script for issue #2 is finished and has been sent to the interior artist. Yzaguirre hopes to have the scripts for all four issues of "Strings" complete by the time the first issue is published in the coming months.

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